The first time I made the recently published Chloe Camisole I didn’t stay stitch the top of my camisole and it ended up stretching out the top so it was too wide. Since the camisole was adorable I decided to save it by pleating the front and back thus making it wearable. As I was altering the overall pattern I decided to also play with the crisscross straps on the back of the camisole while I was at it. Originally I was going to sew the camisole with one set of straight straps and one set of crossover straps so I already had two straps attached to either side of the front and hadn’t sewn it to the back of the camisole yet. I had the freedom to change the back design.
- A flat strap woven camisole with straps that can move around. I altered the Rebecca Page’s Chloe Cami that I wrote about previously after I added pleats to the front and back. Since the top of my camisole stretched out I’m not sure if you’ll also want to make your straps longer as these straps ended up longer than my second camisole so I’m not sure if they were stretched out.
- Sewing clips or pins to hold your folds before you sew them
- Sewing machine with the corresponding thread
- An iron and iErase heat ink pen may both be helpful. If you’re not using an iron you could use a disappearing ink pen though the heat from an iron may make the pen permanent.
To start on the camisole’s straps I decided to put my camisole on backwards. The one reason to do this was to compare the fit between having it the right way and having the camisole backwards. Of course it fit better the right way. If it hadn’t I was debating making the back the front and having a crossover (maybe attached in the same place as the straight straps) in the front. The main reason to put the camisole on backwards, however, was to be able to easily figure out how long I wanted the straps. This way I was able to pin the straight straps with minimal effort and then go on to clip the longer crossover straps. Once I had my estimated placement down I took the camisole off, centered the corssover straps by measuring their distance from the center (or straight straps), measured the straps from the front to make sure they were a similar length, reclipped them, and then tried it on the right way to comfirm it worked.
I then took the camisole off and started the decorative strap. I marked where my crossover was before adjusting and reclipping. Essentially whereever you want your ‘braid’ to start overlap the two straps at a 90 degree angle and clip them in place in the upper sides of what will be the ‘braid’.
Then choose one strap and fold it so it runs parallel to the other strap. Clip that in place on the fold.
Then take the other strap and fold it so it overlaps with the first one. Clip the fold in place. Decide which strap should overlap the other.
Continue folding the straps to the left and right and overlap each set them until it reaches the length you want.
Center the middle of the ‘braid’ over the center line of the back bodice and clip both straps to the camisole.
Again try on the camisole to check fit and make any needed adjustments.
Before sewing my ‘braid’ to keep it secure I switched my sewing machine foot to a zipper foot so I’d be able to see what I was doing and still have the pressure from the foot. I then brought my needle just over the center crossover of the ‘braid’ and put my needle down to secure my spot. I then angled the ‘braid’ so my seam will travel along the edge of the strap to the side of the ‘braid’ and started my seam.
Once I was a hair away from the side of my ‘braid’ I raised my pressure foot and rotated so I could sew along the side of the braid thus keeping all my folds and crossovers in place.
Once I reached the bottom of the ‘braid’ where the two straps started seperating I lifted my foot again, turned it, and followed along the upper strap until I reached the topstitching on the top of the camisole. At that point I sewed along the topstitching until I reached the other side of the strap, rotated, sewed along the strap to reach the other side of the ‘braid’, sewed up the side, and at the top turned it again to meet the beginning center spot before backstitching and cutting my threads.
I then followed the Chloe Cami directions to attach the other three straps (and secure the sewn on one better) before trying on my camisole to checking fit again.
When I was about to sew I thought I made a mistake and added another crossover. Once I finished my ‘braid’ and tried on the camisole I realized that the last minute adition was made in error and I had an extra twist in my strap. To mitigate this I added another crossover at the top of my braid and sewed a chevron shape at the top of my ‘braid’ to secure it. I tried the camisole on once again and luckily the taller section didn’t affect the fit too much so I didn’t have to rip the seams out.
Then the straps were finally attached and the camisole was ready to wear! I loved that I got to add a personal touch to this awesome pattern making something truly unique.
I hope you enjoy this easy strap alteration. I hope it comes in handy if you ever need it. I could see using it for a store bought outfit if the straps are too long for you. You’d just have to cut off the back (or front) of the straps, add your decorative touch (could just be twisting them and securing at the top and bottom), and then reattaching by hand or machine stitching. I can’t wait to see and hear about what you altered through the comments below, on my Facebook page, or through Instagram. Have a great day!